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Police See Familiar Cyclist-Motorist Feud

Piermont authorities look to achieve cyclist-driver harmony on roads

It's almost an unofficial custom in Piermont.

When the warm months roll in, so do gaggles of cyclists from Rockland, Westchester and New York City. And close behind? A legion of miffed motorists.

"We always have a high volume of cyclist complaints [from motorists] in the summer," said Michael O'Shea, Piermont's chief of police. "Bicycles are subject to vehicle and traffic laws, as well."

Last week, received three cycling-related complaints. The week before, about six. "The complaints are more common on the weekend," O'Shea added.

O'Shea said the department has a bicycle patrol officer who enforces the village's road rules—like keeping bikers in single file along River Road and other popular paths.

Still, acting proactively is one of the department's best tools, O'Shea noted.

"We have a three-tiered approach—education, prevention and enforcement," he said. "We'll go to bicycle clubs and talk about the rules of the road."

In the coming days, officers will deploy an electronic message board encouraging motorist and cyclists to share the road. South Nyack has a similar message board near .

In June, a cyclist in Grand View was . Since, her family has petitioned for in the region.

When Piermont Police nab a cyclist breaking the rules, they issue a uniform traffic ticket. Fines vary, but can climb as high as $250.

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Read Patch's dispatch on the subject from last summer .

Steve Knowlton August 03, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Completely agree that cyclists who violate traffic laws deserve to be given tickets. But enforcement goes both ways. PD should also issue summones and violations for drivers passing too close to cyclists (Merrill's Law), for automobile speeding on River Road and 340, for failing to use turn signals and for making unsafe turns in front of cyclists, to name a few.
pumpkin patch August 03, 2012 at 01:53 PM
The one thing that gets me as a motorist is the failure of bicyclists to ride single file. As a motorist, in my opinion, the cyclists can run all of the red lights and stop signs they want. That puts their own safety at risk. However, when you force traffic coming up behind you into the oncoming traffic lane, that puts everyone at risk (motorists AND cyclists). As a cyclist (which I also am), I am not comfortable riding out in the middle of the road like that. I'm not sure how they do it, especially on 9w
Alan D. August 03, 2012 at 01:57 PM
From my experience, auto traffic is strictly enforced (25 mph) on River Road. But I have witnessed cyclists not following the single file law, running red lights, etc.
DLS August 03, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I saw a cyclist today making a left turn through a red light while traffic was approaching during rush hour. Until bikes are treated more like vehicles and need to register and insure nothing will change.
James Bond August 03, 2012 at 09:09 PM
There is no comparison to the number of violations made every day by cyclists both in the packs the ride in and singly. In addition the things I cited already.....wearing earbuds is also illegal and dangerous. Not stopping on right and red is another big problem. When I'm not held responsible for hitting someone breaking the law on their bike, then I wont give a damn what the cyclist do @Alan D....you are 100% correct. Piermont and S.Nyack PD actively enforce the speed limit.

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